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Minergy upbeat on Masama project

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… More coal resources are discovered

….Production to start next year

Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE)-listed Minergy Limited has announced that drilling and exploration conducted at its Masama Coal project during 2017 had established a significant increase in the size of the coal reserves. The recent Competent Persons Report (CPR) found that the quality of the coal was also better than previously indicated. “Comparing the 2016 and 2017 estimates, the total coal resource for the project area increased from 347.1 Mt to 389.9 Mt, an improvement of 12 percent.

“Of this, the opencast area has increased from 71.2 Mt to 82.3 Mt, which translates into 25 years of opencast operations,” said Minergy CEO, Andre Bojé, adding that management was exceptionally pleased with the revised CPR and especially the improved yields. This is good news for the company, which listed on the BSE in April 2017 and plans to build an opencast coal mine at Masama with the potential to produce 2,4 Mt per annum.

The company will focus on delivering high-quality coal to the regional market, including Botswana and South Africa as well as to the export market. The Masama Coal Project, located in the south-western corner of Botswana’s Mmamabula coalfield is near to existing rail, road and water infrastructure. It also has significant distance advantages over existing competing suppliers to regional customers, which attributes offer great potential for the southern African region and the export market.

The size of the resource also supports scalable production, presenting an opportunity to provide export coal to traders who supply India, China, and other areas of Asia, as well as Europe, should international coal price remain stable. Bojé stated that for the first time a measured resource was declared totalling 12.7 Mt and the overall indicated resource increased from 61.7 Mt to 73.2 Mt, a 19 percent increase.

“The exploration programme vindicates our decision to focus on a reduced area of the overall prospecting area with a view to a long-term project supplying the regional market and ultimately the seaborne thermal coal market.” While average raw coal qualities for the project remained similar, inherent moisture was notably lower and the A Seam in the underground areas showed considerably improved qualities. Bojé said that theoretical yields of the primary product were considerably improved where the theoretical yield improved from 63 percent to 66.4 percent. Minergy will be the second producer of coal in Botswana, and is committed to being on the forefront of developing a vibrant coal industry in the country. “All our timelines for the project have now been met and we are confident of being in production in the third quarter of 2018,” concluded Bojé.

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Matambo calls on financial sector to pick GDP

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Finance Minister, kenneth Matambo

Finance Minister Kenneth Matambo has announced that government is committed to support financial service sector to prop up the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Currently contributing over 13 percent to GDP, Matambo said the sector has potential to increase its share. “Hence government’s interest in the sector,” said Matambo addressing delegates at the inaugural Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL), Global Financial Summit.

The country has built a strong, resilient and fast growing financial sector underpinned by a robust regulatory framework. The finance minister who is expected to step down next year, noted that government’s commitment to the financial service sector has this year been buttressed by a number of laws passed in July relating to money laundering activities.

In addition, Matambo said the continued investment in the development of information, communication and technologies (ICTs) backbone infrastructure is also to support local banks’ rising appetite for online services.

The Minister said the country remains committed to maintaining micro-economic stability to spur private sector participation in the economy. “Our vision is to become a high income country by 2036,” said Matambo, challenging the private sector to step forward and help government to develop the country, bemoaning the low levels of financial inclusion and shallow domestic capital markets.

He said the private sector should come up with more initiatives to develop further the local capital markets. The Minister’s sentiments were also shared by Martin Davies, Managing Director for Emerging Markets and Africa at Deloitte who has challenged the country to start dealing with its low manufacturing value add.

“How do we start to diversify beyond the single commodity economy,” quizzed Davies, adding that manufacturing increase is vital for low inequality across the country.

“Inequality results in bad public policy, as the state starts to believe and think they have to intervene more,” said Davies, highlighting that the country needs to move away from the absolute concept of state drive growth. Meanwhile, minister Matambo has applauded the private sector for leading economic dialogue in the country through events such as the BIHL Global Finance Summit.

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First Lady advises women entrepreneurs

Keikantse Lesemela

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First lady, Neo Masisi

First Lady, Neo Masisi has urged women entrepreneurs to bring change in the economic development of the country and the rest of Africa.

Speaking during the Lioness Lean in Africa breakfast on Friday, Masisi said women entrepreneurs are remarkable engines of economic growth and job creation. “I believe women entrepreneurs hold incredible potential and credentials on the continent because Africa has the highest percentage of women entrepreneurs in the world.

It is projected that millions of much needed jobs will be created over the next decade and these will be created predominantly through small businesses which are mostly run by women,” said Masisi.She highlighted that women entrepreneurs are also the most powerful engine for equitably distributing growth and they are also solutions for addressing inequality on the continent.

“It is a proven fact that for many generations, women understand the simple concept of barter and commerce. These are the role models of our past and our present and they will continue to inspire new generations to do more for business to grow,” she said.

The Lioness Lean In Breakfast Series brings together inspirational and successful women entrepreneurs to share, inspire and connect with the next generation of great women-led start-ups.

The platform is based on a breakfast networking and speaker presentation format, which has been organized in locations across the African continent for the past year by Lionesses of Africa, empowering over one million women entrepreneurs across the continent.

Stanbic Bank Botswana Head of Personal Markets, Omphemetse Dube said they are pleased to bring the Lionesses of Africa Lean In platform to Botswana once again to bring together women entrepreneurs in the country and help to nurture their growth further.

“Botswana is blessed with a number of thriving female entrepreneurs, and the potential for the next generation of talent is strong. Platforms such as this are therefore paramount in growing the cause and we as a bank are proud to help champion that movement further,” said Dube.

Founder and CEO of Lionesses of Africa,Melanie Hawken noted that Gaborone is a growing and exciting centre for women’s entrepreneurship in Africa. “This is a must-attend event for women entrepreneurs in the country as it gives them the opportunity to hear the inspiring entrepreneurial stories of women who are building great businesses here,” she said.

The annual Lionesses of Africa event allows entrepreneurs to benefit from the insights and advice of women entrepreneurs who have seen and experienced it all and to also provide an excellent opportunity for networking.

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